Mary Ann Syer

Mary Ann Syer (1793 - 1882)

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Mary Ann Syer
Born in Nacton, Suffolk, Englandmap
Daughter of [father unknown] and [mother unknown]
[sibling(s) unknown]
Wife of — married in Trinity Church, Saint Marylebone, Middlesex, Englandmap
Descendants descendants
Died in Ogden, Weber, Utahmap
Syer-5 created 16 Oct 2011 | Last modified
This page has been accessed 473 times.


Mary was born in 1793. Mary Syer ... She passed away in 1882. [1]

MARY ANN SYER Mother of Elizabeth White Mary Ann Syer was born in Suffolk England, somewhere near Ipswich, probably Nacton according to her own statements about her place of birth. So far we have been unable to find her christening record to determine her exact place of birth or her exact age. The year of her birth, according to her own account in her old age, was January 1793. At various other times when she gave her age, she used a woman's privilege of being younger than she was. When asked her age for the 1851 Census and for crossing the ocean in 1856, she gave her age so that the year of birth could have been 1796 or 1797. When she went to the Latter-day Saint Endowment House on 25 April 1860 she gave her birthdate as January 1797 and her birthplace as Nacton. At the time she joined the Latter-day Saint Church 13 March 1854 she said she was 60 and born at Nacton. Therefore, in January between 1793 and, 1798 Mary Ann Syer was born. Her father's name was William Syer and her mother's name was Ann or Mary Ann. Her mother died when Mary Ann was three years old. Her grandparents were John and Mary Syer, according to the information she gave from memory in her old age. Temple work was done for these four people at the Logan Temple in 1884. Her father William Syer has been found exactly where Mary Ann said he lived--at Waldringfield, Suffolk, a village about six miles from Ipswich. He was a wheelwright. At the time he was living in Waldringfield, he was married to Pricilla Lambert, whom he had married at Grundisburgh 14 August 1803. We have the record of the baptisms of three of their children. Their first child, William Syer, was born October 7, 1806 and was christened at Grundisburgh 20 October 1806. The record stated that he was born at Hasketon, Suffolk. He died and was buried 4 May, 1808. The next christening is that of William Syer born 27 December 1812 who was christened 17 January 1813, at Waldringfield, Suffolk. This is the Uncle William of Barnard White's record of his mother's family. The third christening is that of James Syer 29 October 1815. He was buried 13 January 1816 at Waldringfield. Of the three children christened of William Syer and Pricilla only William (born 27 December 1812) survived. There was one other child born to William Syer and Pricilla Lambert by the name of Hannah. Barnard White, in writing about his mother's family, said that Hannah was his mother's half sister. He also stated that he remembered having seen her. According to the 1841 and 1851 Census she was born in 1810. She stated that she was born in Waldringfield, Suffolk. She married William Hill, a miller, 22 Nov. 1836 at Waldringfield, In the 1841 Census they were living at Waldringfield and had a daughter 1Anna age two. With them was a Charlotte Syer age 15. In 1851 they were living at Martlesham, Suffolk, and no children were listed. This Charlotte Syer died 27 April 1844 at Woodbridge. So far we do not know her exact relationship to the Syer family. William Syer (the Uncle William born 27 December 1812) learned to be a wheelwright like his father. He married Harriet Rouse in the Parish Church at Waldringfield 19 January 1836. They had five daughters. They are Ann born at Waldringfield 1839 (ae 11-1851); * Harriet born at Martlesham 1840 (ae infant 1841) who was buried 26 November 1841 at the age of ten months, Emma born at Martlesham in 1843 (ae 8-1851), Ruth born at Eyke in 1845 (ae 6 1851), Charlotte born 1848 (ae 3- 1851). In 1851 he was living at Melton near Woodbridge where he was in business as a wheelwright. From the varied places of birth for his daughters, he seems to have moved about a number of times before becoming established in his own place of business on the main road between Woodbridge and Wickam Market. Among the members of Mary Ann Syer's family that we have not been able to locate are her two sisters, Elizabeth and Martha. Whether they too were the daughters of Pricilla Lambert we do not know. At the time Mary Ann's father William Syer married Pricilla Lambert at Grundisburq 14 August 1803 he was "of Hasketon" By 1812, when his son William was born, he was established as the wheelwright of Waldringfield. His sons William and James were christened there and James was buried in the Waldringfield churchyard. Also he had the misfortune of having his wife Pricilla Lambert die shortly after the birth of her son James (29 Oct. 1815) and she was buried 19 November 1815 at the age of 36 years. With Hannah age five, William age three, and Elizabeth and Martha who might have been born about 1804 and 1808, he had ci family of little children to care for. Mary Ann would have been seventeen years or older and was no doubt, a great help to her widowed father. Then on 8 Dec. 1816 he married Mary News, a spinster, at Waldringfield, Suffolk. There is no record of their having had any children. William. Syer continued to live in Waldringfield until his death on 15 September 1840 at the age of 63. He was buried 20 September 1840 in the Waldringfield churchyard. According to his age at death, he was born in 1777. William Syer had a brother John Syer, who owned the Shannon Inn at Bucklesham. He married Elizabeth Bennett in St. Clements, Ipswich, Suffolk, 10 Dec. 1806. They had a family of six, consisting of Elizabeth, born about 1807 who married John Bennett 5 August 1834; Hannah christened 4 July 1809 at Bucklesham who was buried 3 Dec. 1834; John, born 2 Dec. 1810 and christened 2 Dec. 1810 who was buried 5 July 1812; Sarah, christened 17 April 1814 who was buried 4 June 1834; William, christened 17 April 1814; and Isaac Syer christened 19 Nov. 1815 who died 5 July 1877. He married Caroline Brandon 26 Dec. 1837. He became a minister in the Church of England. It is from Isaac John Syer, the Vicar of Appleby, Westmoreland, and his son Isaac. John Syer christened 3 May 1840 at Bucklesham, that the Syers we are connected with in England descend. ____________________

  • “ae 11-1851” means: “ae” is “age,” “11” is age at census in “1851.” This gives the year of birth as 1839.

2 John Syer made a will in 1837. In it he left property to his daughter Elizabeth, the wife of John Bennett, and his sons William and Isaac. His death occured 2 September 1837 at Bucklesham, Suffolk. His age is given as 55 years at the time of death. The year of his birth should be 1782. Since we know that William Syer (Mary Ann's father) was born in 1777 and his brother John Syer in 1782, we now have the approximate period for their parents John and Mary Syer. The couple that best fits into this catagory is John Syer, single, and Mary Jefferson, spinster, who were married at St. Stephens, Ipswich 22 September 1771 by license. In extensive research for all marriages and couples having children during that period, we have found only one other couple with the names of John and Mary Syer. They had a son Mathias christened 16 June 1764 at Hollesley, Suffolk. So far, christening records have not been found for William and John, the sons of John and Mary Syer, who are probably John and Mary Jefferson who were married at St. Stephens, Ipswich 22 Sept. 1771. Very few stories of Mary Ann Syer's childhood have come down to us. It seems that she was afraid of her stepmother (Pricilla Lambert) . On one occasion, when in fear of punishment, she hid in a grandfather clock; and another time she hid in the attic. Since her own mother had died when Mary Ann was three, she had very little of the love and attention that most little children receive. Our first record of Mary Ann is 10 December 1810 when she was a witness at the wedding of Benjamin Jacob Smith and Abigail Prentice at St. Mary-at-Tower in 1810. Her writing at that time was cramped and childish. By 1837 when she married William White she wrote a fluent hand. Sometime either before or after her first marriage, she worked as a dairy maid. She used to milk twenty cows. The man for whom she worked praised her because she could get such a lot of milk. She thought the cows milked better for her because she sang to them. She knew over one hundred songs that she used to sing to the cows. On the 19th of January 1820 or 1821, she married William Smith. The marriage was not a happy one as he drank and was cruel to her. She had five children by him: Emma, Mary Ann, Pricilla, Hannah, and Charlotte. The only one to live to maturity was Emma. When Emma joined the Latter-day Saint Church, she gave her date of birth as 18 September 1826. The place of birth seems to be Haskerton, Suffolk. She went to London with Mary Ann and was mentioned in William White's will. She married William Benjamin Norris 12 January 1848. They were the parents of eleven children. Even though she and her husband joined the L.D.S. Church, they did not come to Utah. Two sons came to Utah. We presume that William Smith died, just when we do not know. But by 1832 Mary Ann Syer Smith with her little girl Emma Smith was looking for more opportunities for herself. She left Suffolk in 1832 and went to London. Mary Ann worked as a servant for an old couple. Every night it was her duty to warm the bed. As the old man went to bed first, she had to go in and warm the old lady's side of the bed with the old man in the bed. One evening the warming pan touched the old man and he screamed, "You're burning me. You're burning me. " Whether this episode ended her service with them, we do not know. However, another opportunity presented itself to Mary Ann. A well-to-do 57 year old tailor by the name of William 3 White met her and desired to marry her. He had been married twice before, first to Margaret Hawley and second to Mary ---. Mary had died leaving him with a family of fairly young children: Eliza born in 19 Jan. 1828, Caroline in 1831, and Charles about 1833. So Mary Ann Syer Smith and William White were married at Holy Trinity Church, St. Marylebone 17 April 1837. Mary Ann and William White had a happy marriage. Three children were born to them: Elizabeth 22 February 1838, Barnard 9 November 1839, and Richard 22 May 1842. During this period they moved from Gilbert Street to Sun Street and then to Eltham Street. William White was a prosperous tailor employing about 25 men. In addition to his own income from tailoring he had inherited his brother Barnard's property. However, this period of contentment was cut short by William White's death on 21 October 1842. He had left a will which definitely stated that "I will and devise and bequeath to my beloved wife for her use and benefit and further all my moneys, bankstocks, and other securities etc. at the time of my decease." And "I will and bequeath to ---- my beloved wife the interest to be received --- to be paid to her --- as long as she may live. " After her death the property was to be divided "share and share alike" among William White's children and his wife's child Emma Smith. Even though the will had explicity stated what was to be done with the property, William White's two sons by his first wife, John Place White and William White, who were the executors of the will, determined to take the bulk of the property. The family got into litigation over the property and none of them got what they wanted. Part of Mary Ann's share consisted of six lease held houses on Eltham Street. This litigation caused so much family feeling that Mary Ann and her children and the children of the second wife, Eliza and Caroline, were almost out of contact with the first wife's children from that time on. A widow with some money is often the prey of an unscrupulous man. Mary Ann Syer White to her sorrow married a William Hill. He seems to have run through her money. We do not know what happened to him but by the 1851 Census Mary Ann Hill was the head of the household. Eliza, Caroline, Elizabeth, Barnard, and Richard were the members of her family. Mary Ann was an independent and shrewd business woman. When her fortunes were at a low ebb, she established a hand laundry for special laces, fishus, and dainty clothes. She hired a number of women to help her and carried on a very successful business. On one occasion some fishus disappeared. Mary Ann was sure that one of the women working for her had taken them. For all she was small in stature she was indominable in will. She forced the women to undress and she searched their clothing. Under the skirts of a Mrs. Legbeater she found the missing articles. After that no one dared try to steal from Mary Ann. Mary Ann was a nonconformist. William White belonged to the Church of England. If she joined his church, she was not a very devoted member of the Church of England, as she did not have her sons Barnard and Richard baptized until Barnard was nine and Richard was seven. But when the missionaries of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints came to her door, she was stirred by the message they brought. On 11 March 1854 she was baptized a member of the L.D.S. Church. Her son Barnard was baptized by Elder Samuel Bee, President of the Walworth Branch, 22 May 1854. 4 Mary Ann's greatest desire was to go to Zion with her children but financial problems prevented their going for some time. Her daughter Emma had married William Benjamin Norris and had four children. Caroline had married a William George Hill but died about the time the family joined the Church. Family responsibilities made it impossible for her to leave immediate About this time Barnard, Mary Ann's elder son, was desirous of only one thing--to be a sea captain. He would go to the recruiting station very frequently to be measured to see if he was tall enough to enlist in the Royal Navy. When he lacked only half an inch in height, an opportunity came for Mary Ann to send him to America. Some missionaries offered to take him with them. As he was only fifteen years old, his mother was fearful of what might happen to him. After many promises to her that he would never taste liquor or get in bad company, she said farewell to him and he set sail for America on the 29th of July 1855. During the winter of 1855 - 1856 Mary Ann was busily engaged preparing for her family to emigrate to America. Her stepdaughter Eliza had married Edmund Joseph Brooks, a sailor, 5 March 1855. They were planning to go with Mary Ann. Her daughter Emma and William Benjamin Norris, however, did not plan to go to Zion even though they were members of the Church. Mary Ann sold the leases on six houses which she held on Eltham Street to a Mr. Hill for 200 pounds, about $1000. Passage for herself, Elizabeth, Richard, and Eliza had to be procured. Edmund Brooks, being a sailor, secured work on a ship going to America in order to earn his passage and some extra money. Mary Ann's famous red flannel petticoats presumably were purchased in anticipation of her journey into the Great American West. Treasured possessions had to be sold and the ones to go to America carefully packed. A china tea set of the period of 1775, and a silver tea set, silver shoe buckles that had belonged to William White, and other personal treasures were packed for the journey. They had received letters from Barnard telling of his adventures in New York City and the farming community of Sing Sing where he was learning to be an American farm boy. At last they sailed on the good ship Horizon for Boston. The ship was filled with English Saints, many of them planning to push handcarts all the way from the Missouri River to Salt Lake City. Most of them were very poor but all were full of faith and anticipation for the brave new world where Zion was located. They had a pleasant voyage and sailed into Boston harbor 20 June 1856. Much to the joy of the family they saw a small sailing boat coming out to the Horizon steered by Edmund Brooks with Barnard as passenger. They had a happy meeting although Elizabeth blurted out in dismay upon seeing Barnard, "Oh, my poor brother Barnard, what have they done to you?" Mary Ann could hardly believe the roughly clad young man was her son, for she had sent him from London dressed in broadcloth and a silk hat. He had grown taller and matured while being on his own in America, and he had received training that was to be invaluable to a London boy on the long trek Westward. Barnard and Edmund Brooks had to leave the ship in the evening. After they had left a severe storm came up and Mary Ann worried about their safety. The next day, though, they were on the wharf as the passengers unloaded. Immediately the immigrants were taken to railroad cars to travel to Iowa. The cars were a great disappointment to Mary Ann, for there were no seats. They were like cattle cars as far as furnishings were concerned. It was necessary for the passengers to sit on their luggage. 5 Mary Ann, for all she had done menial work in her day, was a lady and extremely fastidious. Can you picture her, a dainty little English woman who had come from the great city of London, who had been used to a good home and much refinement in her life, seated on a trunk in an immigrant train. For three days and nights they rode onward, steadily onward, suffering uncomplainingly the train smoke, the cramped muscles, and the hubbub of so many people being crowded together. At last they reached the end of the railroad -- Iowa City. In 1856 Mary Ann Syer was at least sixty years of age. She had already proved herself to be a courageous, indomitable woman. Her family trusted her judgment and relied upon her faith. Now when the train pulled into its last stop at Iowa City, Mary Ann rallied her family around her. Picking up their lighter bundles, they set off for the campground over a mile away. Being caught in a drenching rain, while walking to the campground, was just one of the many discomforts that came with her initiation into camping in America. From July until December 13, Mary Ann was to cook over campfires, sleep on the ground, endure the most rigorous ordeal of hunger and cold that any group of Mormon pioneers were ever to encounter. But her courage was undaunted and her faith never wavered. Twice in the course of their journey, when they were completely without food and death seemed but a short distance away, she called her family about her and with prayer and firm conviction assured them that the Lord would provide. Each time her faith was rewarded, for teamsters arrived with food to save the lives of the Hunt Wagon Company. Mary Ann said that she never knew what it was to be tired until she was an old lady. Surely walking over the rough ground tired her. When their food was on short rations, her strength must have faltered. But there is no record of her requiring special considerations because of her age. She was the leader of the little family group. She and Barnard "concluded" what should be done. At Devil's Gate when they had to leave their wagon and all their treasured possessions, she may have shed a furtive tear or two at having to leave- her silver tea set and her heirloom china and other valuables, but the urgency of getting her family through to the Valley overshadowed everything else. Red flannel petticoats were more important than silver teapots and she took them from her luggage and insisted that Elizabeth and Eliza wear as many as their strength would allow them to carry. Only their bedding and a little extra clothing could be taken in the Newman wagon that their weakened oxen and cow were helping to pull. From the last crossing of the Platte to Salt Lake City was one continuous ordeal. Only faith and courage brought them through their hazardous journey. The last 120 miles were the hardest, for their strength was nearly to an end. From Devil's Gate onward, Mary Ann had to rely on faith that Elizabeth would make the last of the journey through in safety with the teamsters who were taking the weakest of the company to Salt Lake City. As for Barnard and Richard, Edmund and Eliza, and herself each day was a challenge and an ordeal. Barnard's boots wore out and his feet had to be wrapped in flannel which soon turned to rags. As she saw her sons and son-in-law struggling to save their cattle and get the wagons through, her heart must have ached for them, for after all, 6 Barnard had just turned seventeen and Richard was only fourteen. Since the boys were city-bred and inexperienced in handling animals and wagons, their task was even more difficult. At last on December 13, the company emerged from the deep snows over Big Mountain so that they could see Salt Lake City. There before them in the distance were mounds that could hardly be distinguised from the snow covered sage brush. The brethren who were helping them said that this was Salt Lake City. Mary Ann sank into the snow and cried--whether in disappointment or in joy or both no one will ever know. This was the first time her family had seen her show any emotion except courage and deep faith. After the storm of tears was over, she wiped her eyes and trudged on down the trail, chin up and proud of their achievement. This same staunch courage kept her head high as they went through the streets of Salt Lake City, starving, careworn and weary, while the curious looked on at the last remnant of the pioneers of 1856. Mary Ann and her two boys, Barnard and Richard, were taken to the home of Bishop Woolley where they were cared for with the greatest of kindness. Eliza and Edmund Brooks were taken to his sister's home in Cottonwood. Mary Ann was greatly concerned about Elizabeth, and it was with thanksgiving that she received word from Bishop Isaac M. Stewart that Elizabeth was well and had been taken to Draper. He asked her to go to Draper also. Mr. Godbe, a druggist, offered to teach Richard his business so arrangements were made for him to go into Mr. Godbe's home as an apprentice. Then with her family partly cared for, she and Barnard decided to accompany Bishop Stewart to Draper. Since they had no home, Mary Ann went to work for a Mrs. Burnham and Barnard for Guernsey Brown. During the long cold winter of 1856-1857 logs were cut for new cabins. In the spring a cabin was "raised" for Mary Ann and Barnard. Then teamsters returned to Devil's Gate and brought in the wagons and the luggage left there by the handcart companies and the wagon companies. By fall Mary Ann had her treasured possessions once more and could be the mistress of her own home. As Elizabeth had married Bishop Isaac M. Stewart, Barnard and Mary Ann were alone in their new cabin. Mary Ann lived in Draper until 1861. In April 1861, Barnard and a number of people from Draper moved to Cache Valley and settled in Old Paradise (later called Avon). After Barnard had a snug cabin built, Mary Ann joined him. Later when he married Elizabeth Ann Walters, she returned to Draper. From 1861 to 1869 Mary Ann lived in Paradise or in Draper as her help was needed by Elizabeth or by Barnard. It was during this time that she was sealed to John Pannell Wright, a fine man who lived in Paradise, However, the sealing was one that she regretted, for because of the urging of some of the mistaken brethren she was told that she must be sealed to someone living. Brother Wright was a good man and willing. However, she later learned that she could have been sealed to William White even though he was dead. This sealing to Brother Wright was a worry and regret for her for the rest of her life, for she always said that William White was the husband she wanted for eternity. Barnard, Richard, and Elizabeth were all doing well in their frontier communities. They were happy and as prosperous as could be expected in such circumstances. Eliza had died in childbirth in 1857, leaving a daughter Eliza who was the pride and joy of her 7 father Edmund Brooks. Altogether Mary Ann and her family were getting along as well as or better than most of the Utah pioneers. When Elizabeth Ann Walters, Barnard's wife, died on 22 October 1868, Mary Ann went to Paradise and cared for his family. The baby, Elizabeth, died on 21 October 1869, but the two little boys Barnard John and William Syer thrived under the care of their grandmother. During the years in Paradise Mary Ann tried to stop drinking tea. The Word of Wisdom forbade tea and then too it was extremely expensive. Without her tea, though, Mary Ann's health began to decline. When Barnard found that Mary Ann's tea had all been used, he loaded a schooner of wheat and drove to Salt Lake City. There he purchased the tea for his mother. After that he always saw to it that she had plenty of tea. He told her there was wisdom in all things and that if she needed her tea she should drink it. After she had her tea once more, her health improved. In the spring of 1869 when Barnard moved to Ogden, Mary Ann was still keeping house for Barnard and his family. Then after his marriage to Diana Mary Williams 7 March 1870 she went to Draper for a prolonged visit. From 1870 until 1876 she made her home sometimes with Elizabeth and sometimes with Barnard. For the last eight years of her life she was usually with Barnard. Elizabeth had a large family and Barnard's wives Diana Mary and Sarah Jane were better able to care for her as she grew more feeble. In spite of all her hardships in crossing the plains and pioneer life, Mary Ann had remarkably good health. She was an extremely ambitious woman and even in her old age she was always busy. When she could not do very much housework, she insisted upon knitting stockings for the family. Because of her poor eye sight she often dropped her stitches. "Drat it" she would say, "but I've dropped another stitch. " Then either Diana Mary or Jane would have to pick up the stitch and get her started again. During the last years of her life, Mary Ann made her home with her son Barnard except for short visits to her daughter Elizabeth. She stayed sometimes with Jane and sometimes with Diana Mary. Barnard was always very kind and considerate of her and she did not want for anything he could supply. Whether she lived at Jane's or Diana Mary's, she always had her own room and her own treasured possessions with her. He always saw that she had some spending money although she had no need for it except to give it to her grandchildren whenever they came to see her. She seemed quite contented until one winter day a little old man came to their home with a basket, selling pins, needles, shoe laces and other notions. Seeing him out peddling completely turned her head. She had always been a very independent, ambitious person; and when she saw this little old man selling notions, she decided that she too could go peddling. After he left she told Jane that she was going out to do the same thing and make some money for herself. There was nothing said about her plan until the next morning. Then Jane discovered that Mary Ann was dressing so that she would be ready to go out to make her fortune. Jane tried to persuade Mary Ann to change her mind, but she was determined to go. Seeing that she could not stop her from going, Jane helped to bundle her up warm 8 and let her go. Mary Ann with a market basket on her arm started for the center of Ogden, three blocks from their home. Meanwhile, Jane had been planning rapidly. She hastily called a neighbor girl to come and stay with the children. Then she hurriedly put on her wraps and covered her face with a heavy veil. She crossed the street and rushed to the corner. Then she crossed to the side of the street where Mary Ann was trudging along very slowly picking her way on the snowpacked walk. She greeted Mary Ann with a pleasant "good morning" and asked her where she was going. Mary Ann told her she was going to Z.C.M.I. where she was going to make some purchases and then she was going peddling. "I'm going peddling. That I am." said Mary Ann very emphatically. Then Jane asked her if she didn't think it was too cold and the snow too slippery for her to go all the way to the store. Mary Ann agreed that the path was slippery and that she was getting cold. Jane suggested that the weather would be better another day and asked Mary Ann if she might help her home. Mary Ann, without recognizing Jane, told her that she thought it might be better if she waited for another day. Then Jane took her arm and guided her home. Jane helped her to go up on the front porch, and then she told her she would go to the back door and ask her daughter-in-law to open the door for her. Jane rushed around to the back door, quickly removed her veil and wraps, and opened the front door. She expressed great surprise at seeing Mary Ann returning so soon. Mary Ann explained that she had met a kind lady down the street who had offered to help her home. Since it was so cold and she was getting tired, she had decided not to go peddling that day. She never suggested going peddling again; so this venture must have satisfied her desire to be an independent business woman. Mary Ann never felt old within herself. She was always desirous of looking her best. She wore a net trimmed with pansies over her curley hair and clothes of the best quality. One day Mary Ann and her granddaughter, five year old Annie, were sitting on the front porch watching the funeral procession of Maggie Kerr, a neighbor girl, go by. Annie had on Diana Mary's hat and was pretending to be a grown-up lady. Mary Ann smiled at her antics and told Annie that she wanted to live until Annie was a grown young lady. At that time Jane and Diana Mary had houses side by side on Twenty fourth Street. One morning Mary Ann decided that she wanted to go over to Jane's to see Joe, who was the baby. While visiting there she took sick. They took her home to Diana Mary's and cared for her as tenderly as they could. It was August and very warm. She had had a stroke and there was very little that Jane and Diana Mary could do for her. They took turns fanning her and tried to make her as comfortable as they could. Even little Annie took her turn fanning her grandmother. Barnard had gone to Truckee to buy lumber and his wives did not know how to get in touch with him. However, he had a premonition that something was wrong at home when the train reached Reno. Without questioning his warning, he got off the train and took the next train going east and arrived home a few hours after Mary Ann had suffered the stroke. 9 When he returned home, Mary Ann was paralyzed so that she could not speak. Barnard said, "Mother, if you know me, raise your hand." She raised her hand . He hardly left her for the next week. She lay in the single spool bed unable to talk, but her eyes followed her loved ones as they cared for her. On the 22 day of August 1882 she passed away quietly with her son and daughter by her side. Mary Ann had been a very strong woman--mentally, physically, and spiritually. She never gave up even during the greatest trials and hardships. When she died in her ninthieth year, she was a very small woman, for she had always been short of stature. Her dark curly hair had been grey for many years, but her dark grey expressive eyes gleamed until the last. For all she had been married four times, she often said that the only husband she desired to meet on the other side was William White. She said he was kind and considerate, a perfect gentleman. She always called him Mr. White, in her old- fashioned way, and spoke very respectfully of him. He was buried in the Walworth Churchyard, London, England, and Mary Ann in the Ogden City Cemetery, Ogden, Utah, over six thousand miles apart.

Barnard wrote the following words about his beloved mother. "On the twenty- second of August, 1882, in Ogden, Utah, my dear Mother died at 7:15 A.M. She was 89 and 8 months old. She fell asleep without a struggle which was predicted upon her head by Patriarch Thomas Richardson. She was beloved by all who knew her. This was a day of great sorrow for me and I might say mingled with joy that she had laid down her body to rest from her labors. I hope that I shall be able to live so that I may be worthy of her society. "She was a most excellent woman, of strong determination and executive ability and genial disposition. She made friends wherever she went. She was a kind and affectionate mother and a strong advocate of the principles of the Gospel. I never knew her to waver. She was always willing to suffer trials and privations for the Gospel's sake and will certainly gain . the reward of the faithful. I thank God that I have been true to her as her son under all circumstances. My conscience is clear, and I know that I shall meet her again on the other side if I am faithful to the end."

Children of Mary Ann Syer Elizabeth White Barnard White Richard Herman White


  1. Entered by Randy Anonymous, Oct 16, 2011

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